New Jersey Teen Hurt in Stolen Auto Denied Medical Benefits

March 10, 2009

New Jersey’s Supreme Court said a passenger in a stolen vehicle can’t collect medical benefits under an auto insurance policy, even if the person doesn’t know the vehicle was stolen.

Last week’s 5-2 ruling, which overturned an appellate court, upholds a plain reading of an exclusion under auto insurance policies. It denies coverage to someone who is in or driving a vehicle without the permission of the owner or other named insured.

The case involved a 14-year-old East Orange boy who suffered a broken leg and other injuries in an October 2004 accident.

His grandmother, with whom he was living, tried to collect medical benefits under personal injury protection coverage. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. denied the claim.

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